These days there are so many different types of vending machines, it’s hard to keep track of them all, never mind how they work. There are soda machines, snack machines, cold vending machines, hot vending machines, healthy vending machines, candy machines, gumball machines… the list goes on and on. One of the more interesting models is the hot vending machine. How, exactly, does one of these machines work? How are they able to hold food for an indefinite amount of time without it spoiling, and then dispense it, hot and ready to eat, once an item is finally selected?
While these new-fangled vending machines may seem complicated, the functionality behind them really is not. Hot vending machines work just like most other vending machines. A glass fronted vending machine- very similar to a regular snack vending machine- holds the meals, which are typically restaurant quality. These meals get air blast frozen during packaging, so that they retain nutrition and flavor. While the meals are stored in the food vending machine, they are kept frozen, until someone comes along, pops in their money and selects a meal.
Once a meal has been selected, it is transferred to an industrial microwave until it is fully heated and ready to serve. The meal is then removed from the machine and may be eaten. Pretty clever, huh? And not nearly as complicated as one would think!